Tsai hails progress made in TPP trade deal at APEC meeting

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James Soong responds to questions at the Presidential Office on Nov. 13, 2017. President Tsai Ing-wen said Monday that Taiwan will show the world its ambition to be part of regional economic integration as she hailed significant progress made toward completing a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal at the just concluded 2017 APEC economic leaders' meeting. (CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) – President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Monday that Taiwan will show the world its ambition to be part of regional economic integration as she hailed significant progress made toward completing a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal at the just concluded 2017 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economic leaders’ meeting.

During a meeting with Taiwan’s delegation to the APEC summit, Tsai said the progress made proves that promoting comprehensive economic and trade cooperation through dialogue and exchanges remains the common hope of all 11 nations involved in the TPP.

Following U.S. withdrawal from the TPP, the remaining 11 countries led by Japan said Saturday on the sidelines of the APEC summit they had “agreed on the core elements” of the TPP deal, which is now officially called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The progress poses both opportunities and challenges for Taiwan in its bid to join the TPP, Tsai noted, adding that her administration will strive to show international partners in the region Taiwan’s desire to be part of regional economic integration by continuing to transform industrial structure and improve business fundamentals in the country.

Taiwan will seek out opportunities to make its voice heard in the world, continue to augment its international visibility and demonstrate what it can contribute to the international community, Tsai added.

During the meeting, delegation head James Soong (宋楚瑜) said delegation members did their utmost to ensure the world heard Taiwan’s voice.

He said Taiwan shared its experience in the empowerment of women, the development of small and medium enterprises and its efforts to tackle climate change during the APEC summit.

Soong was appointed by Tsai as her envoy to the summit because Taiwan’s president cannot attend the meeting due to China’s objections.

In turn, Tsai praised the delegation’s work at the APEC summit in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang.

By Yeh Su-ping, Lu Hsin-hui and Evelyn Kao